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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I just picked up a 2005 Lotus Elise with 56k miles. I'm stoked! This car is a blast!

Everything on the car seems to be great, but I want to have the oil changed so I know what I'm starting with (the level is also just a bit low).

Can anyone recommend a good place in the San Diego area for an oil change?

This is something I'd consider doing myself, but I'm ashamed to admit I skipped the per-purchase inspection on the car. The car was such a deal (private seller who needed it gone fast) that I had to move quickly. Even though the car seems fine, I wouldn't mind paying a shop to change the oil in case they notice anything else while it is on the lift.

$300 for an oil change at the dealer is absurd. But I'd pay $100-ish just to avoid the hassle (and get another set of eyes on my newly acquired car).
 

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I wouldn't skip out on a hundred bucks just so some ding dong at pepboys can fubar the oil change. With the care that these cars require, do it yourself. It's not that hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd never take it to pep boys.

I'd only take it to a respected and skilled independent shop recommended by other forum members.

Otherwise I plan on doing it myself.

The big reason I want a shop to change he oil is so I have another set of eyes on the car (since I just bought it) so they can catch anything else it needs (in case I missed something). As I said, I'd like to think I know what I'm doing (I'm a "2 wrench guy"), but having a "4 wrench guy" inspecting the car on a lift while the oil is draining would give me peace of mind. Especially it is is just $100
 

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+1 for do-it-yourself. It's very easy - but tedious because of all those fasteners on the panel. Just buy a set of ramps, a filter wrench (I prefer the adjustable strap type), and a plastic drain oil pan. You'll still spend less than one dealer oil change and you'll get to keep the equipment for the next time. Give yourself a couple of hours and take your time. You'll learn a lot and gain confidence.

Here's a DIY oil change link with every detail: Lotus Elise Maintenance, Oil Change Tutorial

Here's another EVEN BETTER:
Change the Oil on a Lotus Elise & Exige | HowTune.com

As far as underside inspection, just look for anything worn, out of place, or leaking.
 

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+1 with GR8.....

Do it yourself, learn your car, gain the confidence doing it yourself.

Last bit of advise, get a set of ramps, never ever ever use scissor jacks from another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Already got the tools.

Again, I just really was hoping their world be a local indy shop to do it for $100 or so. It would basically be a oil change AND free post-purchase inspection (which is what I was really after).

But since no one seems to have any recommendations on any indy shop, looks like I will be getting under the car tomorrow.
 

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Already got the tools.

Again, I just really was hoping their world be a local indy shop to do it for $100 or so. It would basically be a oil change AND free post-purchase inspection (which is what I was really after).

But since no one seems to have any recommendations on any indy shop, looks like I will be getting under the car tomorrow.

Given the rarity of these cars, I bet 99% of Indy shops never worked on a Lotus before so I doubt they will be able to spot anything or recommend anything Lotus specific. When you are down there, check the CV boots, any leaks, toe links (inboard and outboard), leaking shocks?, how does the brake fluid look, top off coolant(possibly a flush?), check all the belts, check the spark plugs, anything look abnormal? That's what I do everytime I change the oil.
 

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Again, I just really was hoping their world be a local indy shop to do it for $100 or so. It would basically be a oil change AND free post-purchase inspection (which is what I was really after).
You want cheap service and a free inspection. My independent wouldn't take you as a customer, but here are some pointers in case you just haven't thought this through.

The $300 oil change includes inspection items (recommended service time is 2.8 hours). Not advisable, but you can ask the dealer for an oil change only, which should amount to not much more than the $100 you're willing to pay.

Based on age and mileage, your Elise may also be due for the following:

brake/clutch fluid change (every 1 or 2 years)
coolant flush (every 4 years)
air filter replacement (30,000 miles)
spark plug replacement (30,0000 miles or 6 years)
transmission oil change (45,000 miles or 6 years)
 

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I'd let the dealer do it. If you're not confident about it, pay the $ and have accountability and peace of mind. You just dropped lord-knows-how-much on a Lotus - are you going to quibble about a couple hundred bucks, now? ( god forbid you get thrifty when it's time to upgrade your tires . . .) :facepalm

And besides - these cars run on synth, anyway - it'll be a good, long time before you need to have the oil changed again ( unless you track her ).

And welcome to Lotus ownership!! You're going to love it:clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up doing this last night. Was pretty straight forward.

Also had to change a headlight bulb (was actually blown fuse - DOH- should have checked that first).

Everything else on the car seems to be together. Didn't see any evidence of leaks.

The fact that this car has full under paneling is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You want cheap service and a free inspection. My independent wouldn't take you as a customer, but here are some pointers in case you just haven't thought this through.

The $300 oil change includes inspection items (recommended service time is 2.8 hours). Not advisable, but you can ask the dealer for an oil change only, which should amount to not much more than the $100 you're willing to pay.

Based on age and mileage, your Elise may also be due for the following:

brake/clutch fluid change (every 1 or 2 years)
coolant flush (every 4 years)
air filter replacement (30,000 miles)
spark plug replacement (30,0000 miles or 6 years)
transmission oil change (45,000 miles or 6 years)
I'm glad your independent shop is so busy that they don't need a new customer.

Getting a free check with a basic oil change benefits both the owner (free inspection) AND the independent (who gets to possibly up-sell work).

Whatever the case, I got it covered. It was nice to bond with my new toy.
 

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I just play it safe and take my Evora (and Elise before I sold it) to San Diego European, Lotus/Aston Martin/Jaguar of San Diego.
 
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